Cold weather, warm hearts
Curlie Washington carefully picked through the clothing, hoping to find something to fit his 6-feet-tall frame. After several minutes, he settled on a black Coors Racing jacket, along with a wool cap and gloves, and a pair of heavy knit socks.
The items were not on a rack at a clothing outlet, nor were they on sale at a thrift store for a good buy. The clothes and blankets, which weighed about 200 pounds, were donated by residents of the Koinonia Apartments on Main Street to the nearby Lenoir Soup Kitchen. The resident in charge of the donations was Linda Dula, one of 126 living at the income-based apartments. After reading a recent article in the News-Topic about a homeless man coping with the cold, she went into action.
"When I read the story it hit my heart," Dula, 68, said. "I thought now would be a good time."
Dula talked the idea up with Koinonia staff. Soon, fliers were posted around the hallways and lobby, and the donations began to pour in. Fleece coats, turtleneck sweaters, gloves and other items were given by the residents and their family members.
Dula and Koinonia hauled the items to the Soup Kitchen Monday morning. Shortly after 11 a.m., soup kitchen diners began lining up to make a selection. Whether it was the hot meal, the donated items, or both, they left with smiles on their faces.
"This speaks highly of the type person who lives at Koinonia," Triplett said. "It shows we have an ability to help those in need. I think if they're able to find a means to give, then our whole community can."
"I was definitely pleased with the response," Dula added.